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Tuesday, May 4, 2010
I subscribe to an email newsletter on Christian marriage that is distributed from   I was happy to read today's update from an engaged young woman writing about "this whole imitating-the-love-of-Christ-for-His-Church thing."  Reading it was refreshing, because I don't often read a lot about the Bridal Paradigm (my phrase, not hers) from other writers.  It was encouraging because I know I am not alone in this.    I was delighted that someone who hasn't yet entered into her marriage clearly get's it so wll going in .  I'm convinced that hers is a marriage that will last.  

Here is a part of the article. It's a good read.

More Than a Table for Two: The Difference a Christ-centered Marriage Makes
Stephanie Duncan

With thirty-six days standing in between us and our vows, Zach and I are still trying to track down late RSVPs and figure out the difference between white, ivory, and champagne. But even with so many pressing details, we know that these are fringe matters compared to glory we will represent when we soon meet at the altar. The pastor, who is Zach's father, will say a few words about how marriage is a picture of Christ's love for the Church, we will all (pastor included) cry our way through the vows, and then in front of everyone we will be declared husband and wife.

In many ways, we have no idea what we're getting ourselves into. If you've spent any time on a Christian campus (like the one where we met with courtyard foliage that incidentally spells out "I Do") you know that it can double as a stage for relational drama. Between the two of us, Zach and I know at least eight couples who have broken off their engagement. And while we have friends whose marriages we greatly admire, the tragedy remains that the divorce rate for Bible school graduates is no different than the world's.

But what anchors us to a sanctified perspective is that in thirty-six days we will join ourselves together in the divine portrait of the Savior's all-giving love for His Bride. How miraculous it is to reflect the Father's naming attribute, as He is called Love, and extend this care to another. It is this understanding that prompted Zach, during a surprise snowstorm one April, to tell me that he loved me. And from the conversation that followed until now, we have understood that because God is Love, to proclaim love is to invoke His very Name. To me this seems sacred, something I cannot afford to take lightly.

This is why we are delighted, anxious, excited and scared half to death of putting into practice this whole imitating-the-love-of-Christ-for-His-Church thing. How, I think, will this majesty translate into brushing our teeth at the same sink and doing our laundry together? How can my messy, trip-up self be entrusted with the high calling of reflecting redemption in our daily domestic life?

Paul answers me simply enough, "This mystery is profound" (Ephesians 5:32a). It is a mystery as much as it is a mercy, I think, that a husband and wife might rehearse the love they have divinely received in their conduct towards each other.

Yet our culture tells so many stories of relational wreckage. Instead of learning love from a Personal Being, a secular marriage too often practices love not as a sacred quality but a sentiment divorced from its very Creator. In a sense, they are borrowing an attribute that belongs to a God they don't know and exercising a representation of a spiritual truth they don't believe. To be fair, there are people with good marriages who have detached the basic virtues that uphold their relationship from theology. But if they do not understand the holy reason behind why their marriage works, neither can the fragmented family be expected to pull together apart from God's paradigm of sacrificial love.
I could have written this. OK. Maybe not so well. But I found myself thinking as I read, "yeah, so true, that's good, oh yeah."

How about you - does this resonate with you?  Expecially if you are newly married or about to be.

If you enjoyed this excerpt,  you can read the rest of the article here.  You might want to consider going to and signing up for their newsletter.  They put out some good stuff.  Yes, this is a shameless attempt at compensating them for plagerizing the article. 

Oh and if you are reading this and haven't yet responded to my plea for lurkers to de-lurk and show themselves, please go here and do it. NOW!  Help make this a community with your comments.


Lori Lowe said...

Scott, this is an excellent excerpt and surprising for someone who isn't even married yet. It takes most of us many years to realize the purpose of marriage itself is to learn to love (as Christ loves us) and to be loved. The bonus is that since God is love, we become closer to Him as we learn to love one another. We shouldn't fear such a lofty goal, as it's a long process to learn to truly forgive and sacrifice, as well as to receive someone else's love and devotion in return. Also, thanks for visiting my blog and commenting! Peace.
Lori Lowe

Scott said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Lori. It definitely took us a lot of years to come to the understanding we have today about the centrality of Christ's love in our marriage.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I really enjoy following your blog. Lots of great stuff!

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